Senthil Balaji’s Second Bail Petition in HC; ED seeks Direction to Lower Court for Speedy Trial

Arrested former Tamil Nadu Minister V Senthil Balaji’s second bail petition in the Madras High Court came up for hearing on Wednesday, a day after his resignation as Minister was accepted by Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi.

Balaji was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a cash-for-jobs scam on June 14, 2023 and has been lodged in the Puzhal prison here.

The DMK leader’s bail petition came up before Justice N Anand Venkatesh on Wednesday and senior counsel C Aryama Sundaram appeared for Balaji seeking relief for the petitioner.

In its counter affidavit, the ED argued against granting bail to the accused. It sought the HC to direct the Trial Court to commence and conclude the trial within a stipulated time period.

The matter was posted for further hearing on Thursday.

The Madras High Court had dismissed the bail petition of Balaji in October 2023, when he was a minister withour portfolio, saying he was likely to influence witnesses if enlarged on bail. A lower court had also dismissed his earlier bail petitions.

Balaji’s resignation from the M K Stalin-led state Cabinet was accepted by the Governor on Tuesday.

He was arrested in connection with a cash-for-jobs scam when he was Transport Minister in an earlier AIADMK regime.

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